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Children's Food Awards - Where's the Science?

Media statement
16 October, 2003

Green Party Children's Food Awards - Where's the Science?

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation is concerned by the messages being conveyed by the Green Party's Children's Food Awards.

The Awards, which are replicated from an idea found on American website, position foods as being either "good" or "bad".

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation says the Awards are disappointing and do nothing to help encourage Kiwis to enjoy food and meal times by making balanced choices from a variety of foods as part of an active lifestyle.

"The foods are nominated for awards on an emotive basis as opposed to using a sound, scientific approach" says Bronwen Hannay, Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation.

Bronwen says it appears that emotion is the driving force in the Green's selection of foods. An example of this is foods nominated in two separate categories with equal fat content - one considered to be a "bad" food, the other, a "good" food.

"Food decisions should be made on the basis of scientific information and certainly not pitched against each other in this fashion."

The Foundation believes the Green's Awards actually dilute the healthy eating messages of balance and moderation.

"Variety, moderation, balance and enjoyment are approaches that nutritionists have been promoting for years now. It's not about what's good or bad, but rather the too much or too little - being too large servings and too little exercise."

"It's a shame to see particular foods and food companies marginalised in this provocative and sensationalist way."

ENDS


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